Paul Ryan Equates Alt-Right With Progressives in Alleged Word Theft


In an interview with Jonah Goldberg at the American Enterprise Institute, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) complained of “the hijacking of our terms,” meaning the language of the conservative movement. He made the comment in response to a question from Goldberg, a senior editor at National Review and an AEI fellow.

“[T]here are big chunks of the sort of comment-section right, for want of a better term, who are practicing a kind of identity politics for white people…,” Goldberg said. “What can and should we do to actually push back on this?”

Ryan replied that conservatives must “do everything you can to defeat it.” He continued: “These things give rise with different labels, but it is that. And it is identity politics. It’s antithetical to what we believe, and it’s a hijacking of our terms. Just like the progressives hijacked the word ‘liberalism,’ you know, the blood-and-soil nationalists of the alt-right have hijacked things like ‘Western civilization.’”